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David Lean Trivia

David Lean Trivia Quizzes

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2 David Lean quizzes and 20 David Lean trivia questions.
  The Directors: David Lean   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Epic films. No one did them better or more consistently than David Lean. Contains spoilers, and some questions require Oscar knowledge.
Average, 10 Qns, Rehaberpro, Oct 30 18
Oct 30 18
193 plays
  The Films of David Lean    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A few questions on this great (some say greatest) British director and his films.
Difficult, 10 Qns, jeffa, Sep 14 22
Sep 14 22
519 plays

David Lean Trivia Questions

1. Although he is remembered best for spectacular epic movies, he worked for 12 years on films before he directed his first film. What was his craft?

From Quiz
The Directors: David Lean

Answer: Film editor

Those 25 films were are British. What better preparation would a person need than to edit miles of film and piecing it together logically so that it tells the story? Also, it must meet the vision of the director and, perhaps, improve upon it. Among them were two George Bernard Shaw films "Pygmalion" (1938) and "Major Barbara" (1941). Lean was noted for his attention to detail. He had the patience to wait for the perfect sunrise, storm, or light. Personally, he was a noted womanizer and claimed to been intimate with a thousand women.

2. David Lean is the first British director to be nominated for an Academy Award. But for which film?

From Quiz The Films of David Lean

Answer: 'Brief Encounter'

'Brief Encounter'(1946), a monument to English stiff upper lip passion, was ranked as the 2nd best British film of all time by the British Film Institute. Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard starred.

3. Which actor appeared in the most Lean films?

From Quiz The Films of David Lean

Answer: Alec Guiness

Guiness appeared in 6 movies directed by Lean - 'Great Expectations', 'Oliver Twist', 'Bridge on the River Kwai', 'Lawrence of Arabia','Doctor Zhivago' and 'A Passage to India'. He said he enjoyed working with Lean on only three of them. During the filming of 'Bridge', for example, he and Lean fought constantly over different interpretations of the role. After the movie came out, he sent Lean a letter of apology.

4. In another Noel Coward/David Lean production, what Coward play, often regarded as his seminal creation, did they film in 1945 and which gave screen credit to Lean also as a contributing writer?

From Quiz The Directors: David Lean

Answer: Blithe Spirit

Coward was reluctant to have Hollywood involved in any of his works as previous attempts had been "vulgarized, distorted and ruined". But he trusted Lean as they had worked on three previous occasions. However, Coward was disappointed when Lean added scenes not in the original one-set play. Rex Harrison as Charles Condomine is newly married to Ruth (Constance Cummings). Madame Arcatia (Margaret Rutherford), a spiritualist, brings back his dead wife Elvira (Kay Hammond) that makes for a trio of unhappy and conflicted people and sophisticated drawing room comedy. Although not a box office success on either side of the Atlantic and receiving mild reviews, it has since gained stature in popularity. It was David Lean's first comedy. It was nominated for an Academy Award for special effects and obtained a 74% freshness rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

5. Lean badly wanted, but was never able, to film a biography of a great statesman. Who?

From Quiz The Films of David Lean

Answer: Gandhi

'By the time Lean gets around to filming Gandhi,' Trevor Howard once remarked, 'He'll have to get Katharine Hepburn to play the Mahatma, since she'll be the only actor still talking to him.'

6. "Madeleine" (1950) was a labor of love for David Lean in two ways. It was a true story that needed telling; and it was hoped to be a role that would bring his wife to stardom. Who was his wife at that time?

From Quiz The Directors: David Lean

Answer: Ann Todd

Lean made the film as a "wedding present" to Todd, who had previously played the role onstage. Lean was never happy and regarded it as one of his weaker films. Todd plays Madeleine Smith, a Scotish woman seemingly trapped from marrying because she can not shake off the advances of her persistent French lover. At last she must resort in poisoning him. The Scotish law at that time allowed three choices - guilty, not guilty, and not proven. Smith is judged not proven and released. Todd made 18 films between 1931 and 1955. None were great hits. She played Gregory Peck's wife in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Paradine Case" (1947). David Lean was her third husband and the marriage lasted eight years. Lean was married six times. The incorrect answers are three of his other wives.

7. Lean's version of 'Oliver Twist' is today regarded as one of the best adaptations of Dickens ever put on screen. But when released, it caused a huge outcry. Why?

From Quiz The Films of David Lean

Answer: Alec Guiness' portrayal of Fagin was seen as anti-Semitic

An uncut version of the movie was only shown in the U.S. in 1970.

8. David Lean in 1946 and 1948 directed and wrote adaptations for two of Charles Dickens' novels. Which two did he chose?

From Quiz The Directors: David Lean

Answer: "Oliver Twist" and "Great Expectations"

In "Great Expectations" (1946) we meet a young boy called Pip who through an act of kindness becomes the beneficiary of an unknown patron. And we also met Estelle and Mrs. Haversham, two of the most intriguing Dickens' characters. Lean earned two Academy Award nominations for both directing and screenplay. "Great Expectations" obtained a rare 100% freshness rating. John Mills plays the adult Pip and was a frequent actor in Lean's films. The companion piece was "Oliver Twist" (1948). Oliver Twist is an orphan who runs away from the orphanage and eventually ends up in a gang of adolescent pickpockets and thieves until rescued from the life. Again, as with "Great Expectations" it also obtained a 100% freshness rating from Rotten Tomatoes. The film was not without controversy. Lean chose to model the makeup of Fagin (Alec Guinness) after illustrations in early printings of the novel. It was perceived that the makeup created a stereotyped Jew. Lean did not agree as neither the book nor the screenplay referenced Fagin's religious heritage.

9. Asked to star in 'Ryan's Duaghter', Robert Mitchum initially turned down the offer. What highly original excuse did he give to screenwriter Robert Bolt?

From Quiz The Films of David Lean

Answer: He said he was going to commit suicide

On hearing Mitchum's excuse, Bolt apparently told the actor that 'well, if you'll just do this wretched little film of ours and then do yourself in, I'd be happy to stand the cost of your burial'.

10. Lean's 16 movies garnered a total of 56 Academy Award nominations, resulting 27 Oscars. Lean himself was nominated 10 times throughout his career, and won twice. Which movie of his movies received the most nominations?

From Quiz The Films of David Lean

Answer: 'A Passage to India'

It garnered 11 nominations, but only 2 awards. 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'Bridge on the River Kwai' won the most awards - 7 each.

11. David Lean, Sam Spiegel, and their film crew had a busy night at the 1963 Academy Awards. What film was nominated for ten Oscars and won seven?

From Quiz The Directors: David Lean

Answer: Lawrence of Arabia

Academy Award winners included Best Picture, Best Director (David Lean), Best Original Score (Maurice Jarre), Best Cinematography (F.A. Young), Best Art Direction (John Box, John Stoll, Dario Simon), Best Film Editing (Anne Coates) and Best Sound Mixing (John Cox). Peter O'Toole as Lawrence and Omar Sharif as Sherif Ali were nominated for acting awards and Michael Wilson for screenplay. In so far as possible many characters were based on real people, some a combination of people, but were often played out in fictional and real situations. T.E. Lawrence was a combination of spy, negotiator, and warrior. In the film Lawrence is portrayed as ego driven but the real Lawrence was an enigma. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 98% freshness rating. The American Film Institute ranks it high among dramas. Anyone who has seen the film will remember Omar Sharif rising out of the desert sun. Such scenes caused a psychological thrust. During the intermission I went to the lobby for something cold and wet. The line was seven deep at the concession counter but a vending machine line was shorter. I lined up and was surprised to be just behind John W. Reynolds, then governor of Wisconsin. Democracy and politics come to the movies.

12. 'If anyone can convince me she's a virgin, I'll give her the part' said Lean of this famous actress, a candidate - at least in her husband's mind - to play Lara in 'Doctor Zhivago'. Who?

From Quiz The Films of David Lean

Answer: Sophia Loren

Loren's husband, Carlo Ponti, was the producer, so maybe he thought she deserved the role, which went to Julie Christie. MGM, incidentally, wanted Paul Newman for the role of Zhivago, on the grounds that he'd played a writer in the movie 'The Prize', and so could also play a poet.

13. Once he began making epics, Lean loved shooting on location - usually to the discomfort of everyone else involved in the movie. But the result was often worth it. Which country never hosted a David Lean crew on location?

From Quiz The Films of David Lean

Answer: The Soviet Union

Lean was unable to get permission to film 'Doctor Zhivago' in the Soviet Union, so he shot the movie in Spain, Finland and Canada instead. He also shot some of 'Ryan's Daughter' in South Africa.

14. After an absence of 14 years, David Lean directed his last film. Set in India, what was the title of this 1984 picture?

From Quiz The Directors: David Lean

Answer: A Passage to India

The intervening years of David Lean were filled with ambitious projects that never came to fruition. He always thought on an epic scale and at times investors feared cost overruns. Nonetheless, "A Passage to India" was a perfect vehicle with scope, conflict, and an exotic location. E. M. Forster, author of the novel "A Passage to India" (1924), resisted letting his novel be filmed and made that a part of his will. Executors of his estate maintained this pledge until a new executor finally acquiesced. Adela Quested (Judy Davis) is a travelling companion to Mrs. Moore (Peggy Ashcroft) who is sailing to India for her son's wedding. The film's focus is on the conflict between the British presence in India and the beliefs and traditions of the Indian culture. They meet an elderly Hindu Brahmin scholar Professor Narayan Godbole (Alec Guinness), local school superintendent Richard Fielding (James Fox), and Dr. Aziz Ahmed (Victor Banerjee), a doctor trying to bridge the gape between cultures. Trying to please, Dr. Aziz offers to escort the ladies to the Marabar Caves. Under a good deal of stress, Aziz plans the excursion. While in the caves, Adela panics and accuses Aziz of attempted rape. The trial becomes a symbol of British/Indian separate interests. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards but only two were cited - Actress in a Supporting Role: Peggy Ashcroft and Original Score: Maurice Jarre (his third for a David Lean film). However although not winning outright David Lean had three personal nominations - Director, Screenwriter, and Film Editor - all of which he labored on this film. Rotten Tomatoes found its freshness rating at 85%. Aside: A widower of my acquaintance was interested in two women. He took both of them, separately, to see "A Passage to India". When asked about the scene at the Marabar Caves, one simply thought that Adela panicked and had a vivid imagination. The other relayed that it was classic Freudian symbolism. He married the second woman four months later.

15. Christopher Jones was cast as Major Doryan in 'Ryan's Daughter', after Lean saw him in the movie 'The Looking Glass War'. Lean had originally gone to see the movie after its producer, John Box, had recommended another of its stars. Who?

From Quiz The Films of David Lean

Answer: Anthony Hopkins

Jones was one of Lean's biggest casting mistakes. He was not - to put it charitably - a success in the movie, and after making a few youth-oriented films (anyone remember 'Wild in the Streets'? Anyone want to?), disappeared into obscurity. Hopkins, on the other hand ...

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Last Updated Jun 15 2024 5:53 AM
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